Lewis Hamilton says his team's car will show its flaws more than ever at Sepang

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    Lewis Hamilton says his team's car will show its flaws more than ever at Sepang

    Post by Ross on 30th March 2009, 07:25

    Lewis: McLaren will suffer in Malaysia




    Lewis Hamilton has warned that he is unlikely to be able to repeat his unexpected Australian Grand Prix podium in Malaysia this weekend.

    Hamilton put a miserable practice and qualifying behind him to emerge from the season-opener with third place, courtesy of a charging drive, attrition and a post-race penalty for Jarno Trulli.

    But the world champion’s best race lap was still 1.3s off the pace and he has no illusions that McLaren has bridged the performance gap to its rivals.

    “We shouldn’t get carried away by our podium in Australia,” he said.

    “Yes, we had a fantastic race but we’re all aware that our car isn’t capable of repeating that sort of performance on sheer pace alone.”


    The Sepang track that will host round two of the championship has several long, fast corners and rapid direction changes – features that Hamilton thinks will highlight McLaren’s lack of rear downforce more markedly than Albert Park did.

    As a result he is expecting to be even less competitive in terms of outright pace.

    “Sepang is one of the tougher tracks on the calendar, one where we will probably be further from the front-runners than we were in Albert Park,” he said.

    “The track is both fast and technical so requires good mechanical and aero grip.

    “It’s much more aero-dependent and rear-limited than Melbourne so it may highlight some of the shortcomings in MP4-24.

    “Nevertheless, we’re all really encouraged by the progress we’ve made and I know we’ll be pushing as hard as ever to put more points on the board in Sepang.”

    Team principal Martin Whitmarsh also played down expectations of what McLaren can achieve in Malaysia, but is confident it will make progress “sooner rather than later”.

    “Despite a good result in the race, our performance in the Australian Grand Prix was not what we would like it to be, and the reality is that this weekend’s race in Malaysia is unlikely to offer a significant improvement in fortunes,” he said.

    “Nevertheless, we are still pushing to introduce performance to the car.

    “The close proximity to the opening race means there won’t be many large changes to the car but there will be several upgrades to existing components.

    “For us, the mission is clear: we must introduce lap time to our car faster than our rivals to enable us to, firstly, catch the leading runners and then to be able to compete against them.

    “It’s a task we take incredibly seriously and are confident that progress will be made sooner rather than later.”


    Source: itv.com/f1


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